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Will the wrecking ball get Eddie Smith?

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

In the days after the release of the “hot mic” video of Donald Trump bragging that he gropes women with impunity because he’s a star, Gov. Bill Haslam joined a couple dozen other Republican elected officials who declared their disgust and renounced their support of the GOP nominee. The reaction from the nominee’s committed supporters was predictable and harsh, causing some of the Trump critics (mostly members of Congress facing re-election contests) to renounce their renunciations.

Trump carried Tennessee handily in the GOP primary, and his supporters, who are numerous and loud, are furious at Haslam, whom they accuse of never liking Trump much anyhow (he supported Marco Rubio in the primary). Haslam hasn’t come back to Trump, but there’s not much Trump’s fans can do to the governor, who is term-limited and won’t have to face their wrath at the ballot box any time soon.

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Kudos to David Butler

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

David Butler, 61, is the longest-serving director of the Knoxville Museum of Art which has been in its current headquarters for 26 years. He recently completed a decade of service with significant achievements.

Butler came to Knoxville in 2006 from Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in Kansas. He feels his greatest achievement has been getting the current Museum home renovated, correcting several serious deferred-maintenance issues. Over $6 million was raised including funding for the Cycle of Life by Richard Jolley, given by Steve and Ann Bailey.

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Down-ballot contests draw voter interest

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Early voting begins Wednesday, Oct. 19, and although the ballot is headlined by one of the most explosive presidential contests in American history, there are other matters to be considered – like state legislative seats and four proposed amendments to the Knoxville City Charter.

The proposal that will be the most noticeable to voters will adjust the date for city elections.

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Hart says Barnes is the man

Marvin West

While football takes a rest, Tennessee basketball is speeding toward Nov. 11 and the opening game against Chattanooga.

A historical tidbit is hiding in that forthcoming engagement. Peyton Woods, 6-3 guard, plays for the Mocs. He is the son of Rodney and Cynthia Woods of Monticello, Kentucky. Rodney, point guard and captain under Ray Mears, was Peyton’s coach in high school. Peyton is named for you know who.

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The long, costly road to sidewalks

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

Sidewalks: everybody wants them, but few will get them, unless the budget changes, or neighborhood groups band together to gift property to the city. That was the takeaway from an informational meeting presented to city council members by Public Works director David Brace last week.

The city’s budget for new sidewalks is approximately $750,000 per year. The cost of new sidewalks ranges from $100 to $300 per linear foot, depending on the challenges of the terrain and the cost of purchasing right-of-way.

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Beecher Mize is Wall of Fame honoree

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

Fate required some members of Tom Brokaw’s “greatest generation” to grab their bootstraps early in life and make something of themselves. James Beecher Mize was such a man and he was a success as a result.

Beecher, as he preferred to be called, was born in Fountain City on May 12, 1920. His parents were William G. and Gertrude Underwood Mize. His father had served in World War I and was a victim of a poisonous gas attack in France. Upon his return to civilian life, his frequent Veterans Administration hospitalization made it very difficult for his wife and three boys. However, their mother saw to it that he and his two brothers attended school and applied themselves. Beecher attended elementary school at first Brownlow and then Fountain City and entered Central High School where he graduated in 1938.

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